Moody part of plans for NDSU’s shrinking receiving corpsFARGO — North Dakota State lost another wide receiver over the weekend and it’s getting to the point where the Bison may look to the defense for relief. Marcus Williams could become a rare college two-way player.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co.
FARGO — North Dakota State lost another wide receiver over the weekend and it’s getting to the point where the Bison may look to the defense for relief. Marcus Williams could become a rare college two-way player.
The sophomore cornerback was mentioned by head coach Craig Bohl on Monday as a possible solution to the discovery of a stress fracture in the leg of receiver Trevor Gebhart. He’s expected to be out for about three to four weeks.
The Bison still have starters Warren Holloway and Ryan Smith, but the pickings are slim after that. Freshman Nate Moody, sophomore Cooper Wahlo and senior Brady Hansen have a combined five catches.
“We are thin,” Bohl said, “but we’ve been able to operate within our offense and schemes and we’ll continue to do that.”
Still to be determined is the health status of Zach Vraa, who opened the season as a starting receiver before getting hurt in the second game of the season. Vraa has been practicing in a non-contact status.
NDSU hosts Youngstown State on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the final home regular season game. The Bison, 9-0 overall and ranked No. 1 in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll, can clinch a tie for the Missouri Valley Football Conference title with a win.
Bohl said the optimal rotation at receiver consists of six players. But the Bison can also do personnel groups such as two tight end and two fullback sets.
“We’ve got good football players on our team and we’re going to ride with the guys,” Bohl said. “Tell them, hey, they’re at the Alamo, they just have to keep playing. You’re not going to come off the field.”
Moody, a Dickinson High School graduate, took the biggest steps forward of the backups in Saturday’s 27-16 win at Indiana State. He had two receptions for 25 yards, both of which went for first downs.
He also had to leave the game in the second half after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. He’s expected to play Saturday.
Backup linebacker Carlton Littlejohn may also be ready after being carted off the field at Indiana State with a neck injury. The news out starting defensive tackle Ryan Drevlow, however, was not as encouraging. He’ll be out at least three weeks with a strained MCL in his knee.
Starting defensive end Kyle Emanuel, who missed last week with a meniscus problem in his knee, is listed as a starter for Saturday.
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.